NORMAN, Okla. - Legendary former men's head golf coach Harry Mussatto will be inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame Class later this year. The induction will take place December 10 in Las Vegas.
Mussatto will be one of seven inductees in the 2012 Hall of Fame class. To be selected to the Hall of Fame, a coach must be nominated by his peers, and then selected by the GCAA Hall of Fame Committee. Selection criteria not only includes a coach's record on the golf course, but his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.
Mussatto served Western Illinois for 35 seasons as head golf coach. From 1952-1970, Mussatto's team completed the longest home winning streak in the nation with 95 straight wins.
In 1959 and 1962, WIU won the NAIA national team title. Jim King won the individual title in 1959 as the team produced the first national championship in any sport in Western Illinois history.
From 1978-1984, the Leatherneck
golf team won seven straight AMCU-8 Conference Championships under Mussatto's guidance.
In recognition of his successful career and service to Western Illinois, Mussatto was inducted into the Western Illinois University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He also received the Western Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989.
Mussatto retired from Western Illinois University due to illness in 1985. He passed away December 30, 1998.
"For me Harry Mussatto was already legendary when I arrived at Western, he was the epitome of greatness." said head golf coach Mel Blasi, "He was a great player with great skill and his competitive spirit was still very much alive at age 63 when I played for him. He absolutely loved the game of golf and he loved young people and seeing them grow and reach their potential. And he was an intimidating figure because of his size and character. As a player I did not want to let him down...and I think that says it all about how I felt about Coach Mussatto. I know that I would have never won the AMCU Conference Championship as a sophomore without his guidance and his confidence in me as a player."
Harry is now one of 117 members of the prestigious GCAA Hall of Fame. Notable members of the Hall of Fame include golf professionals Arnold Palmer, Jack Nickalus and Byron Nelson.